8 Easy Home Maintenance To-Dos for Spring

By Ashley Marcin on 18 May 2015 1 comment

Ah, spring. The weather is warm again. You're outside enjoying life. And there's a heck of a lot of stuff that needs to get done. This season is one of the best to check many of those pesky home maintenance chores off your to-do list. So read through our suggestions to see if you're forgetting any of the basics.

1. Cool AC Units

Now's the time to get your AC unit in order before the hot weather hits. Change any filters that might be dirty. Examine all lines running into your unit for leaks and kinks. If you suspect anything might be wrong with your machine, call in a professional. They'll check for levels of refrigerant, duct leakage, airflow, belt wear, and more. A little money now will prevent you from uncomfortable nights later.

2. Secure Roof Shingles

I've noticed we have a few shingles loose on our roof after the brutal winter. I spotted them from down the street as I walked toward our house. If you don't have a clear vantage point, try hopping up on a ladder. A sound roof will protect your home from leaks and other more costly issues. Our roof is quite high, so we'll be hiring a handyman. Roof repair costs can range between $95 to $127 to fix a few shingles, to upwards of $350 to repair larger sections.

3. Stop Persistent Pests

While you're at it, walk around your property and look for evidence of pests and infestations. There are a number of critters that can wreck havoc, including carpenter bees, termites, ants, wasps, and more. You can buy sprays and other eradicators at home improvement stores, but bigger infestations are best left to the professionals. Call around to get a couple free quotes from local companies. I have found them to be considerably cheaper than the nationwide chains.

4. Scrub Moldy Siding

Improve your curb appeal! If your vinyl siding is looking dingy and dirty, try using a power washer for a weekend to clean it up. You can rent a power washer for around $40 to $75 per day. Professionals could cost you $750 or more, depending on the size of your home. A friend of mine hand-washes his house using a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water, a scrub brush, and a lot of elbow grease. Whatever way you choose to do it, you'll be cleaning off lots of nasty mold and mildew stains.

5. Redo Damaged Decks

How's your deck doing these days? Chances are you might need to reseal it or even stain for the first time. Before you start, clean your deck using a specially formulated cleanser or solution of vinegar and water. The jury is out on whether power washing is the best method, so we scrub ours by hand. After letting your deck dry for at least a day, apply a single coat of stain of your choosing. If your deck is in poor order, check to make sure it's still structurally sound and consider applying a product like BEHR DeckOver or Rust-Oleum Restore. These paints come in a variety of shades and can give even the most splintery old decks a new lease on life.

6. Close Caulk Gaps

Many of us focus on caulking windows before the cold weather hits, but spring and summer can present just as many challenges. Those of you who live in particularly hot climates could be losing tons of money (and efficiency) through the loss of your cool AC right out the window. Walk around your home — inside and out — taking note of any drafts or areas where you can see gaps. Concentrate your efforts particularly around door and window frames, air conditioners, where brick and wood siding meet, etc.

7. Clean Gutter Clogs

Surprisingly enough, your gutters might fill up with more debris after winter than they did in the fall. You'll want to examine the flow from gutters to downspouts during a rainstorm or check for any other damage (pulling away from the home, sagging, etc.). Cleaning is as easy as hopping on a ladder and scooping out the blockages using your hands or a wet/dry vacuum. You can even flush your gutters using your garden hose. As always, if your project seems too big or dangerous (ladders), you can get a professional to clean your gutters for around $90 to $225 for a 2,000 square foot home.

8. Cover Driveway Cracks

Direct your attention to your walkways and driveway. Are there any areas that are cracked or even missing? If the damaged sidewalk is part of your city's responsibility, try requesting repairs through your local municipality. Otherwise, patch sidewalks by clearing the area of loose debris and spreading a layer of cement. It's a good temporary fix that should last several seasons before a total redo is necessary. You can refresh your driveway by filling cracks and then spreading driveway sealer to cover. Let dry for 24 to 48 hours before opening to your vehicles.

What's on your home maintenance to-do list this spring?

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Guest's picture
Guest

Please do your homework before resorting to any deck restore products as suggested in tip #5. In theory they sound like a great solution and the ads and in-store samples do make the wood look like new, but the online negative reviews far outweigh the positive. Almost every user complains about peeling within a year or two even after meticulously following prep and application directions. And not only are they very expensive (average cost runs $1 - $2 per square foot), they're almost impossible to remove and can be hot to walk on in the sun. Glad I reconsidered.